I’ve decided that I’m going to start my life over…
And I’m going to be a Swede. 
That’s all. 
I am obsessed! How are they so much more superior to the rest of the human race?!

I’ve decided that I’m going to start my life over…

And I’m going to be a Swede. 

That’s all. 

I am obsessed! How are they so much more superior to the rest of the human race?!

Tags: Thoughts

As I spent Monday in a Politics-induced daze, I’ll leave you with the wish that I wrote on my lantern at Shifen Sunday night. In the sleepy railroad town of Shifen, hundreds of tourists and Taiwan-denizens converge each day to paint their wishes on large paper lanterns (my friends and I picked orange, representing love and marriage) before setting them off into the sky, to float into the heavens and perhaps, float into the throne room of God (aka become environmental waste in the mountains) to be answered. 

I saw a lot of wishes for money, good jobs, and even a lantern painted all over with 'Straight As'. The lantern was dedicated to “DEDE” from “GRANDMA”. I kept looking around to see if a reality show was secretly filming. No one can accuse us of not living up to our stereotypes. 

But my wish wasn’t for any of those. I wrote on my lantern: Wo yao zhao dao ai. 

It means, I want to find love. 

And that’s my biggest wish for this year, truly. I want to find love. Not even necessarily in a romantic way, though that would be nice, sure. But I want my fickle, finicky, spoiled, constantly moody little soul to finally man the fuck up and have the courage and determination to love myself and love my life. 


Well, You’ve Got to Start Somewhere

I decided that I’d just take a leap of faith & start trying to update my blog in a semi-consistent manner, again, not because I feel like it would be thrilling news to any of my 2 readers, but because I want to try to stick to something for once. Besides, I know that it’s easy to be a good blogger, but much harder to stay in the habit of consistently updating. 

So I’m going to try it for thirty days. At first.

Mondays (a hard day for anyone to try to type out a semi-coherent post) I’ll try to post a series of pictures of what I’m doing throughout the day. 

Taipei Tuesday: I’ll post about a place that I feel like really captures part of my adoration for Taipei; a cafe or bar I frequent, a newly opened restaurant that I’m obsessed with, etc. 

Wednesday: Pictures, please. Who has time to sit + type when there’s ladies’ night to consider? 

Thoughts Thursday: I’ll post about…my thoughts, About things. Of which I have many, and many of which are wholly unhelpful + strange, but hopefully amusing to someone. 

Fun Friday: I usually try to go somewhere…fun…during my weekends. So on Friday, I’ll post about what I’m doing on the weekend (usually a random place around Taipei) + why it’s worth waking up for. 

Saturday: Pictures of playing!

"Spiritual" Sunday: Where I attempt to put into words the strange, oft-changing part of me known as "my spiritual life". 

Here’s to starting something (+ finishing) new. 

Goals Update 
Although my updating on this blog is sporadic at best + at best it’s read by absolutely no one, my small circle of faithful best friends, or random people who stumble upon it when searching for a girl with the last name ‘thousandth’ (there must be one, yes?), I write this blog mainly for myself anyway, and find it helpful to encourage myself with an update on how I’ve been trying to pursue my goals this month. They’re small things, really. But it’s the small things we have to celebrate, or we’ll find ourselves not having many celebrations at all, and what a terrible thing that is. 
Without further ado: 
Get more plugged into my cell group + start making more friends from church. Sadly, this didn’t happen much, but there’s still time! To be honest, I’m holding back + waiting a bit until the summer because my core group of friends (many who are exchange students) are going to be leaving at the end of May/beginning of June. Also, my cell group time is a bit inconvenient (right after church) because I like to schedule fun adventures with my school friends during that time. But we’ll see; after all, I only have three more years here…
Start painting again. I did make headway on this. Am currently finishing my final draft sketch for a huge painting I’m going to be doing for the living room. Going to scout art supplies today with a friend and hopefully get an idea on what colors I’ll be doing. It’ll be a massive undertaking, but I think it’ll be good for me. 
Become better at blogging. Didn’t start blogging intentionally. I don’t know why, I just can’t really seem to do it. I think that I’ll need a blog revamp first and then we’ll talk. But I did start blogging for a couple of websites, and I think that’s quite exciting. But I also still want to do with my dear friend Connie does and post photos with descriptions of what I did everyday, so that I can remember, as the days are flying by. 
Reach out to more people. I had coffee with a local boy yesterday night! Granted, we met at a nightclub and I doubt that he had any kind of noble intentions, we did talk in Chinese for about three hours. I also have playdates set up with some really cool local girls this Friday, and I’m quite excited! 
Go on a diet. Semi-accomplished this one. Definitely cut down on my sweet drinks, desserts and cheese, etc. Now trying to completely cut those things out for a while, at least until the end of school. 
Start exercising + hiking more. I started the first day of the Couchto5K Running Plan today and it was quite what I needed. Love the reminders and how realistic the program is. Oh, and thank you Avicii for providing the motivational soundtrack to my running. 

Goals Update 

Although my updating on this blog is sporadic at best + at best it’s read by absolutely no one, my small circle of faithful best friends, or random people who stumble upon it when searching for a girl with the last name ‘thousandth’ (there must be one, yes?), I write this blog mainly for myself anyway, and find it helpful to encourage myself with an update on how I’ve been trying to pursue my goals this month. They’re small things, really. But it’s the small things we have to celebrate, or we’ll find ourselves not having many celebrations at all, and what a terrible thing that is. 

Without further ado: 

Get more plugged into my cell group + start making more friends from church. Sadly, this didn’t happen much, but there’s still time! To be honest, I’m holding back + waiting a bit until the summer because my core group of friends (many who are exchange students) are going to be leaving at the end of May/beginning of June. Also, my cell group time is a bit inconvenient (right after church) because I like to schedule fun adventures with my school friends during that time. But we’ll see; after all, I only have three more years here…

Start painting again. I did make headway on this. Am currently finishing my final draft sketch for a huge painting I’m going to be doing for the living room. Going to scout art supplies today with a friend and hopefully get an idea on what colors I’ll be doing. It’ll be a massive undertaking, but I think it’ll be good for me. 

Become better at blogging. Didn’t start blogging intentionally. I don’t know why, I just can’t really seem to do it. I think that I’ll need a blog revamp first and then we’ll talk. But I did start blogging for a couple of websites, and I think that’s quite exciting. But I also still want to do with my dear friend Connie does and post photos with descriptions of what I did everyday, so that I can remember, as the days are flying by. 

Reach out to more people. I had coffee with a local boy yesterday night! Granted, we met at a nightclub and I doubt that he had any kind of noble intentions, we did talk in Chinese for about three hours. I also have playdates set up with some really cool local girls this Friday, and I’m quite excited! 

Go on a diet. Semi-accomplished this one. Definitely cut down on my sweet drinks, desserts and cheese, etc. Now trying to completely cut those things out for a while, at least until the end of school. 

Start exercising + hiking more. I started the first day of the Couchto5K Running Plan today and it was quite what I needed. Love the reminders and how realistic the program is. Oh, and thank you Avicii for providing the motivational soundtrack to my running. 

Some of my goals for the next two months. 
Get more plugged into my cell group + start making more friends from church. (This will definitely become easier as many of my good friends are exchange students that will be leaving at the end of the semester.)
Start painting again. My goal is to have two medium sized paintings done for the living room. 
Become better at blogging. I think I’m going to revive my thousandthgirltravels.blogspot.com blog + start posting in there about experiences, restaurants I go to, etc. This blog will still be for thoughts, dreams, wishes…
Reach out to more people. This is one of my biggest goals of the month. Even here in Taipei, most of my close friends are still either ABCs or Europeans. I hardly have any local friends, and I want to change that! This is a topic for another post, but a part of me is still really intimidated by locals + I still feel that language/cultural barrier. 
Go on a diet. I think this one doesn’t need explanation. Oh, and one more word: bikini. Yeah, I think that’s sufficient. 
Start exercising + hiking more. The weather’s been horrible in Taipei recently, but once the weather starts clearing up consistently I want to start going on hikes every weekend, whether it’s with a group of friends I’ve gathered or going along with some groups. I think it’ll be a great way to get fit + get friends. Fit, friends, what more could I want? 

Some of my goals for the next two months. 

Get more plugged into my cell group + start making more friends from church. (This will definitely become easier as many of my good friends are exchange students that will be leaving at the end of the semester.)

Start painting again. My goal is to have two medium sized paintings done for the living room. 

Become better at blogging. I think I’m going to revive my thousandthgirltravels.blogspot.com blog + start posting in there about experiences, restaurants I go to, etc. This blog will still be for thoughts, dreams, wishes…

Reach out to more people. This is one of my biggest goals of the month. Even here in Taipei, most of my close friends are still either ABCs or Europeans. I hardly have any local friends, and I want to change that! This is a topic for another post, but a part of me is still really intimidated by locals + I still feel that language/cultural barrier. 

Go on a diet. I think this one doesn’t need explanation. Oh, and one more word: bikini. Yeah, I think that’s sufficient. 

Start exercising + hiking more. The weather’s been horrible in Taipei recently, but once the weather starts clearing up consistently I want to start going on hikes every weekend, whether it’s with a group of friends I’ve gathered or going along with some groups. I think it’ll be a great way to get fit + get friends. Fit, friends, what more could I want? 

Missing Shanghai this afternoon. Taipei is a wonderful city when it’s sundrenched, but lacks the moodiness (dare I say, sexiness) of a city like Shanghai that makes it even more perfect on a cloudy day. 

Taipei, you’re still my love, but one can have a few flings once in a while, no? 

Next on the radar: Boracay in May for some sun, Morocco in the summer!

Tags: Thoughts

the simple market, the simple life. 

Last week after church (I’ve started going to the English service at one of Taipei’s biggest churches, Bread of Life), I went with some darling new friends from Honduras to do a bit of lazy Sunday exploring. The sun was incredibly bright, the temperature perfect. (nothing like living in Taipei in winter to make one appreciate sunshine).

Simple Market is located right in the shadow of Taipei 101, in the Xinyi District. I’d usually associated the district with sleek malls and towering high-rises, so I’d missed this absolute gem of a market, featured in Monocle not once, but twice. It’s anchored by a coffee shop/restaurant called Good Cho’s, the main section of an adorable inside complex that houses a gourmet ice cream shop (taro + mango, anyone? so excited for summer) and a design shop featuring a dizzying array of old favorites + newly discovered talent (wheee!). 

We started off by getting henna tattoos by some newly made friends at Om Handmade. Though henna never really works on my skin for some sad, sad reason, sitting there in the sunshine, getting henna done, listening to the tales of Tibet travel from the artists working the booth…so simple, but so good. After wandering around the market and making a few purchases, we sat on the grassed-over roof of one of the dozens of little houses littering the area and sighed at 101 glittering in the distance. 

It was then that it happened, and it really hasn’t happened in a while. I sat there and consciously thought: I love my life. I really, really love my life. It was so different from the misery of New York, and the pressure of people telling me: “Oh, you’re soooo lucky, you get to live in New York!”. I hated it, and the pressure of feeling like I had to love my life because I was privileged enough to live in NYC made the experience all the more miserable.

I started school this week, and I was dreading the conscious shift of vacation life in Taiwan to school. There’s such a separation, many times, with my friends in the states. They have vacation and play and explore during breaks, and then there’s a physical drive to school, and then school begins, an perpetuating cycle until graduation. That shift didn’t come, because—as I realized, it doesn’t have to. I go to class, then I go to cafes to do my work, and art museums and new restaurants and things like Simple Market have their regularly slotted time in my life & heart. 

I used to be really worried about what people thought about my life, and would make a conscious effort to keep my life from looking too easy, too simple, too good, in a way. It’s definitely been a main source of criticism from people who’ve known me in the past. And I made such a battle to combat that image: carefully calculated posts bitching about essays, talking about this internship and that opportunity. One of my professors at my new university spent the whole first class showering us with anecdotes from her experience in the world of higher education, three degrees from Harvard, Cambridge, U.Chicago…you get the drift. “I lived in the library, morning ‘til night,” she told us. But I’ll never be like that. I can’t, and finally, I’m okay with it. The next four years will have their share of stress and anxiety at times, but I’m not afraid to say that they’ll be mostly filled with enjoyment of the so simple, so good things in life: good food + coffee, friends, love + laughter and lots, lots, lots of adventures. Yes, this is the season to work. Yes, this is the season to let go and have fun. And yes, I will enjoy it a hell of a lot, thank you very much. 

Though I just spent a few satisfying hours this morning making a mind map for this next season of my life: goals, wishes, priorities & all—one of my goals isn’t so concrete & clear as ”1. Intentional time with sister” and "start using schedule book". 
One of my biggest is to become a girl that’s…free. This can be taken in two ways, and both are fantastic & good & wonderful & thrilling. 
First, I want the freedom that comes with being secure in my identity with the Lord. There’s nothing more beautiful & free than a woman who knows what the Lord says about her & doesn’t back down on her convictions. Forget the club-animals and hipster-chicks that stare down the glare of the paparazzi. The woman who lives out Proverbs 31, under the fear of the Lord, is free. 
And secondly, I just want to live more free. I want to take spontaneous trips around Taiwan at a moment’s notice, dash up more rooftops to have deeper, longer, better conversations about everything & nothing. I want to run in the rain without wondering if I’ll be cold on the MRT ride home. I want to smile at little children that I see on the bus & splash in public fountains even though I’m not allowed to. Eat ice cream on the jungle gym in the middle of the night, just because it’s fun. Run around on the street without wondering what other people will think. Try things that I don’t think I can do. Do a backpacking trip, just because I’ve always wanted to. 
You know. Stuff like that. 
photo via fashiontoast

Though I just spent a few satisfying hours this morning making a mind map for this next season of my life: goals, wishes, priorities & all—one of my goals isn’t so concrete & clear as ”1. Intentional time with sister” and "start using schedule book". 

One of my biggest is to become a girl that’s…free. This can be taken in two ways, and both are fantastic & good & wonderful & thrilling. 

First, I want the freedom that comes with being secure in my identity with the Lord. There’s nothing more beautiful & free than a woman who knows what the Lord says about her & doesn’t back down on her convictions. Forget the club-animals and hipster-chicks that stare down the glare of the paparazzi. The woman who lives out Proverbs 31, under the fear of the Lord, is free. 

And secondly, I just want to live more free. I want to take spontaneous trips around Taiwan at a moment’s notice, dash up more rooftops to have deeper, longer, better conversations about everything & nothing. I want to run in the rain without wondering if I’ll be cold on the MRT ride home. I want to smile at little children that I see on the bus & splash in public fountains even though I’m not allowed to. Eat ice cream on the jungle gym in the middle of the night, just because it’s fun. Run around on the street without wondering what other people will think. Try things that I don’t think I can do. Do a backpacking trip, just because I’ve always wanted to. 

You know. Stuff like that. 

photo via fashiontoast

church searching in taipei (part one)
I’m truly so blessed to have amazing women around me, both physically & via that handy little tool known as the internet. though they can’t be there with me to discover new restaurants & explore the alleyways of Taipei, I’ve spent hours with my best girls, forming concrete goals, visions & spinning the occasional fantastical dream. 
One of my largest goals this year, without a doubt, is to find a spiritual community where I can both be fed & serve in ministry. My four months in New York were a scary time of my life, a time that I often try to remember, but simply can’t. I don’t remember a single thing I did there, besides long, exhausting rides home on the D train after work, metal rattling & people sighting. I don’t think I had more than one spiritual conversation in the entire season I was there. I felt so lost, so adrift, as if I wasn’t really present in the world. Every morning seemed like a nightmare that I desperately needed to awake from. I can’t really explain it, but I do know that much of it was because I had no community. As much as I’d like to say I’m some Saint Teresa of Avila-esque spiritual warrior that can form a vibrant, thriving life on my own, I know I need community. I’m so weak. 
No one likes going to unfamiliar churches & seeing a sea of strange faces week after week; me the least. I’d rather hide out in the confines of my room with the IHOP webcast & a bowl of cereal. But this is the truth: that He’s gone before me, and He’s calling me to follow Him. I’m embarking on a quest to find a ministry that I know is going to form a large part of my life here in Taipei. I’m asking for solid, Bible-based messages that stir up my heart to live in holiness rather than feeding me feel-good platitudes that I’d like to hear. I’m asking for a tight-knit community of believers that do all things together: not just praying for each other on Sundays; not just Thursday night cell-group, but plays together, laughs together, eats together. And one more thing: I’m asking to be stretched in this season by the people I’m surrounded with. I want to hear different stories: people of all walks of life, all ages, all backgrounds, all gathered together to lift up their hands to the One that makes life in beautiful Taipei worthwhile. 
I’ve already began going to a few churches; one, the tiny, tiny church of a family friend with a dual English-Chinese service, & the newly-planted all-English service at one of Taipei’s largest mega-churches: Taipei Bread of Life. To be honest, I’m still searching, still waiting, still hoping. 
But thank God, thank God, thank God—that He goes before me. 

church searching in taipei (part one)

I’m truly so blessed to have amazing women around me, both physically & via that handy little tool known as the internet. though they can’t be there with me to discover new restaurants & explore the alleyways of Taipei, I’ve spent hours with my best girls, forming concrete goals, visions & spinning the occasional fantastical dream. 

One of my largest goals this year, without a doubt, is to find a spiritual community where I can both be fed & serve in ministry. My four months in New York were a scary time of my life, a time that I often try to remember, but simply can’t. I don’t remember a single thing I did there, besides long, exhausting rides home on the D train after work, metal rattling & people sighting. I don’t think I had more than one spiritual conversation in the entire season I was there. I felt so lost, so adrift, as if I wasn’t really present in the world. Every morning seemed like a nightmare that I desperately needed to awake from. I can’t really explain it, but I do know that much of it was because I had no community. As much as I’d like to say I’m some Saint Teresa of Avila-esque spiritual warrior that can form a vibrant, thriving life on my own, I know I need community. I’m so weak. 

No one likes going to unfamiliar churches & seeing a sea of strange faces week after week; me the least. I’d rather hide out in the confines of my room with the IHOP webcast & a bowl of cereal. But this is the truth: that He’s gone before me, and He’s calling me to follow Him. I’m embarking on a quest to find a ministry that I know is going to form a large part of my life here in Taipei. I’m asking for solid, Bible-based messages that stir up my heart to live in holiness rather than feeding me feel-good platitudes that I’d like to hear. I’m asking for a tight-knit community of believers that do all things together: not just praying for each other on Sundays; not just Thursday night cell-group, but plays together, laughs together, eats together. And one more thing: I’m asking to be stretched in this season by the people I’m surrounded with. I want to hear different stories: people of all walks of life, all ages, all backgrounds, all gathered together to lift up their hands to the One that makes life in beautiful Taipei worthwhile. 

I’ve already began going to a few churches; one, the tiny, tiny church of a family friend with a dual English-Chinese service, & the newly-planted all-English service at one of Taipei’s largest mega-churches: Taipei Bread of Life. To be honest, I’m still searching, still waiting, still hoping. 

But thank God, thank God, thank God—that He goes before me. 

no safety nets (more late night thoughts, on the move.)
Dear all, I must confess. Up until tonight, I was still wavering with my decision to stay in Taipei. I always had, in the back of my mind, that safety net of the American schooling system. I had, in fact, already started the application for transfer to Brown/William & Mary (my American dream-schools, previously), just in case. 
Just in case, despite the fact that my heart finds a home in Taipei, and going back to American & doling out 50k per year for its schooling would make it sick. Just in case, despite the fact that there has been a wealth of prophetic insight & words about this move, a story that started long, long before I even came to Taiwan this past summer. Just in case, just in case. 
My best friend had let me know that she was always there for me in case I had any questions about my Brown transfer application. Tonight, I sent her an email, and this is what it said: 
"Actually, I’m not applying to Brown or any other American school. I really can’t take anymore change in my life. I need some kind of stability to where I’m going to be.  I’ve already missed out on the American undergrad experience, I’ll never have that window again—and to be honest, I’m glad that I did miss out on it. 

If I miss America, I can always go back for graduate school, but I doubt that I will.”





I need to settle down, and I need to rest. That’s a real risk. What’s the risk & adventure & daring in moving to Taiwan if I’m going to cast a thousand safety nets out of insecurity the moment I move in? I wouldn’t begin to date someone & then immediately begin to calculate the possibilities of us breaking up, or what my plans would be if were to separate. No, of course not I’d dive right in & love, and that’s what I’m committing to do in Taipei. I want to find a good ministry, I want fellowship, I want good friends around me, I want to be vibrant in my school community, I want to develop the talents the Lord gave me & use them to serve others. And it’s going to hurt, but I’m not carving any escape tunnels this time, though the very idea sends chills down my neck. Four years….an eternity! 



But I’m tired of living with one foot out the door. I’m doing this, and please Lord—help me through it. 

no safety nets (more late night thoughts, on the move.)

Dear all, I must confess. Up until tonight, I was still wavering with my decision to stay in Taipei. I always had, in the back of my mind, that safety net of the American schooling system. I had, in fact, already started the application for transfer to Brown/William & Mary (my American dream-schools, previously), just in case. 

Just in case, despite the fact that my heart finds a home in Taipei, and going back to American & doling out 50k per year for its schooling would make it sick. Just in case, despite the fact that there has been a wealth of prophetic insight & words about this move, a story that started long, long before I even came to Taiwan this past summer. Just in case, just in case. 

My best friend had let me know that she was always there for me in case I had any questions about my Brown transfer application. Tonight, I sent her an email, and this is what it said: 

"Actually, I’m not applying to Brown or any other American school. I really can’t take anymore change in my life. I need some kind of stability to where I’m going to be.  I’ve already missed out on the American undergrad experience, I’ll never have that window again—and to be honest, I’m glad that I did miss out on it. 

If I miss America, I can always go back for graduate school, but I doubt that I will.”


I need to settle down, and I need to rest. That’s a real risk. What’s the risk & adventure & daring in moving to Taiwan if I’m going to cast a thousand safety nets out of insecurity the moment I move in? I wouldn’t begin to date someone & then immediately begin to calculate the possibilities of us breaking up, or what my plans would be if were to separate. No, of course not I’d dive right in & love, and that’s what I’m committing to do in Taipei. I want to find a good ministry, I want fellowship, I want good friends around me, I want to be vibrant in my school community, I want to develop the talents the Lord gave me & use them to serve others. And it’s going to hurt, but I’m not carving any escape tunnels this time, though the very idea sends chills down my neck. Four years….an eternity! 

But I’m tired of living with one foot out the door. I’m doing this, and please Lord—help me through it. 
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